Len Entwhistle was sitting in between the two beds containing Miranda and Jodie, looking white and wan. It had been 2 days since they had arrived, yet neither had aroused and Len had worried herself almost sick. Reg came in and hugged Len, before talking to her.
"Come on," he said. "You need a nice hot meal and a good sleep, and you'll fell all the better for it,"
Len protested at the idea, but Reg was firm about it. "If you carry on like this, then you won't be any use to anyone. Con or Matron can watch for now, anyhow,"
"A-are t-they very likely to - to..." She trailed off, unable to finish the sentence.
"If God sees any reason to take them from us He will. But if we pray long and hard enough He may leave them here. But whatever He decides is for the best and we have to live with it as happily as possible," a new voice said.
"Margot? But weren't you in an order? What's happened?"
"The news is all over the world. They're inter-national heroes. But it is being said that they are in the clasp of death, and the order is half-making me to visit. Aunts and Nieces are counted as close family, and you're allowed to get leave when a close family member is found dead or is close to dying. I got here a while back and rested before coming to see you. You could do with a rest and a warm bath yourself! I've never seen you that pale ever. God will do what is right for the pair. Hi Con! Look after Len, please, give her a decent meal and see that she eats it, let her have a hot bath and then make sure she has a rest. Yes I'm supposed to be with my order, I'll tell you about it later!" Margot called.
Con nearly had to drag Len away, but she managed. Then Margot spoke again. "What's happening medically, Reg?"
"Time-tunnel disease or similar. Most people who get it die with it straight, and most survivors of that pass away quickly afterwards if they've got it," He said. "Most cases don't get medical help, though. But even those which do are likely to pass away, although it is a bit less likely," Reg said.
"What about these two cases?" Margot asked.
"Well, both need proper medical care. Under this, Miranda should make a full recovery being the sturdy girl she is. It would take quite a bit of time but as long as she doesn't relapse or slip away now she'll likely be totally cured this time next year. But Jodie's another tale altogether. She is rather delicate, and has a weakness to time travelling, I gather. She'd be better off in the Swiss branch,"
"Move them both there, then. Well, why not? I mean, I could stay with Mother until the mortal peril status is rubbed clean out, and you've got your own chalet there,"
"Yes, could mean the difference between life and death for Jodie. I'll see what I can do,"
He managed very easily about moving the girls to Switzerland. They went slowly, trying to keep the two girls from moving around a lot. They went by ambulance rather than train, never going at high speeds, and they arrived to the Swiss San two days before the school came. Sophie listened to the quiet snores from the cubicle next to hers. She couldn't sleep. She loved her little sister, and it was hard to think that she could slip away. She longed to talk to someone, but who would understand?
Midnight chimed. Her fear was ever growing. Would they survive? The time went slower than a snail. Tears pricked the back of her eyes. She cried silently, and fell asleep at last.
Joan Bakewell was all over the place. For the first time for 20 years she was thinking of someone other than herself. She felt guilty about Jodie. She felt it was all her fault that both girls were close to death, and no-one would forgive her if that happened. She dumped her boyfriend and flew over to Switzerland by the first plane available.
From the airport she made her way to the San and went all the way to the room Jodie was in. She got a shock, for her husband was there. She didn't say anything. She just went to stand next to him. They held hands and kissed a gentle kiss before looking at the motionless girl in the bed, with worried eyes.
Len and Margot noticed a flicker of Miranda's eyelashes, and Margot called Reg in; he was passing at the time.
"Right," he said.
Miranda's eyes opened. "Hello," she said weakly. Then, on seeing Margot, "Who are you?"
"I'm your Aunt Margot. The one in the Order," she said. "Now drink this,"
Miranda drank obediently. "How are you feeling?" asked Len.
"Groggy," was the reply.
Len passed a bucket, just in time, and Miranda was violently sick in it before dropping to sleep again.
"Thank God! Now we just need the careful nursing to come in, and she ought to recover. Margot, send for Nurse Bunn, please," Reg said.
Len burst into tears with the news. The relief was momentous, and Margot took her to bed before hunting up Nurse Bunn, then she called the school, and Rosalie Dene relayed the news to Miss Annersley, who got someone to ask Sophie to go to her.